United primed to end Benfica’s run

first_imgUnited, who famously defeated Benfica at Wembley in 1968 to win their first European crown, head into the tie on the back of five straight victories.Significantly, those five wins have all been matched by five cleansheets, a fact that signals United’s defence is on the mend after being torn apart by Manchester City last month.“Keeping clean sheets has been an integral part of our success and we have been careless with our defending,” United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said after watching his team score a 1-0 victory over Swansea last weekend.Ferguson said the win over Swansea reflected a focus that had been missing from United’s early games this season.“The concentration we showed is exactly the concentration we need back in the team,” he said.While United’s defence is causing him fewer sleepless nights, it remains to be seen how Ferguson will set up his midfield against Benfica.Against Romanian side Otelul Galati earlier this month, Ferguson used Wayne Rooney as a central midfielder to great effect.Yet while Rooney won plaudits for his performance, it merely served to underscore United’s lack of a genuine creative presence capable of running the game from midfield.According to Scottish international Darren Fletcher, United are doomed to failure in their attempts to find a midfielder capable of replacing the now retired Paul Scholes.“We can’t replace Paul Scholes, it is as simple as that,” Fletcher said. “If there was someone I am sure he would be here.“You are talking about one of the best players ever to play for Manchester United.”Ferguson will instead have to perm the core of his midfield from Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick, Park Ji-Sung and Fletcher.Fletcher believes, however, United have enough quality in attack to trouble the best sides.“As midfielders we know what our job is and how we affect games,” he said.“Maybe we are not noticed but we have quality players in advanced positions. Our job is to supply them.”Another possible midfield option for Ferguson is teenage signing Phil Jones, who has impressed since signing from Blackburn for £17 million in the summer.Jones played a defensive midfield role for England in recent friendly victories over Spain and Sweden, and Fletcher is unsurprised by the 19-year-old’s meteoric rise through the ranks.“He has done fantastic and shown what a real quality player he is,” said Fletcher. “He has performed fantastically at full-back and watching the two England games he did really well in them as well.“He has shown real quality and proved why the manager snapped him up.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000MANCHESTER, England, November 21 – Manchester United will attempt to end Benfica’s unbeaten start to the season here Tuesday as the English club bid to book their place in the Champions League knockout phase.The English and Portuguese giants play out the latest instalment of a decades-old rivalry at Old Trafford knowing that a win for either side will almost certainly assure them of topping Group C.United had to come from behind to snatch a 1-1 draw in the two teams’ meeting in Lisbon earlier in the group, and Benfica remain unbeaten in 20 matches across all competitions this year.last_img read more

SA infrastructure build on track: Zuma

first_img4 July 2013 South Africa is a thriving building site, with about 1 132 active construction sites creating employment for about 178 000 people on projects monitored by the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission (PICC). The commission held a meeting in Pretoria on Wednesday, where progress on these projects – with a value of R750-billion – and other infrastructure development matters were thrashed out. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, President Jacob Zuma said he was happy with the development progress of the country. “The meeting took longer because of the volume of the matters on the agenda, such as the progress report on infrastructure build. We had lots of discussions and we are certain that we are making progress,” he said. The PICC brings together representatives of the three spheres of government, Cabinet ministers, premiers, metro mayors and the South African Local Government Association representatives to harmonise developments in the National Infrastructure Plan. The meeting examined the successes and challenges in the roll-out of the 18 Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs), which currently make up the country’s multi- billion rand National Infrastructure Plan.‘National, collective point of view’ The plan looks to transform the economic landscape, while simultaneously creating a significant number of new jobs and straightening service delivery. The SIPs cover various projects of economic and social infrastructure projects such as schools, hospitals and new power stations. “The important thing about the [PICC] is that it puts together all tiers of government to discuss issues from a national, collective point of view,” said Zuma. Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel – chair of the PICC – said the commission currently tracks almost half of the state’s capital spending and the whole of government infrastructure spending. Patel said during the term of the current administration, which ends next year, the country was on course to reach spending of R1-trillion on infrastructure projects. He also said the state was spending about twice as much on infrastructure now than it did five years ago and attributed the increase in infrastructure expenditure to projects such as the 2010 Fifa World Cup and associated projects. New building technologies and innovative building, which could reduce construction costs, are being evaluated by the government, he said The increase in infrastructure spending was also due to construction cartels which have pushed up the cost of building, Patel said. The PICC meeting discussed the investigation showing evidence of pervasive price fixing, collusion and corruption in the private construction industry, following the Competition Commission reaching a settlement with 15 construction firms, who agreed to pay fines to the tune of R1.46-billion for collusive tendering on 24 June. Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said the infrastructure build gave government a stronger grip on developing the economy. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

E Wants To Be The Future of Networking

first_imgIn this web-enabled world of ours, you have to wonder why business cards are still so popular. Shouldn’t there be a better way? A number of startups have attempted to address this problem with ingenious solutions that range from iPhone apps to custom URLs. Others are calling for the use of QR Codes for mobile data exchange. Unfortunately, no one service has hit the sweet spot just yet, but newcomer “E” thinks they have it figured out. Will “E” succeed where the others have failed? Or is this one industry that refuses to become digitized?HelloMyNameIsE.com You have to appreciate E’s creative URL – it’s memorable, but also makes you curious. E? What’s E?, you wonder. When I first encountered the URL, it was in a tweet which read “I’m now using E to add friends to my Twitter account. More info on http://hellomynameise.com.” Did I click though? You bet. “E,” as it turns out, is a new spin on digital contact exchange. Instead of using paper business cards, you use your phone to exchange data. At first, you may think that sounds very much like mobile contact service Dropcard, but it’s not. The only similarity between E and Dropcard is that they both allow you to customize your profile online and share it with others, but the similarities end there. To use Dropcard, you either text or use a mobile app which emails your contact info to the person you just met. With E, you go to a mobile web URL that lets you exchange a passcode with your new contact. The passcode is simply a five-digit code which is entered into the mobile web app itself. They show your theirs, you show them yours…that sort of thing. Once connected, you don’t receive an email message with their contact info like with Dropcard. E goes a step further and actually adds that contact to all the services you’ve already integrated with E. Service IntegrationAt the moment, E allows you to integrate Twitter, PICNIC (a network for the PICNIC conference), and Soocial. However, Delicious, European social portal Netlog, and LastFM are listed as coming soon. After you integrate these services with E, when you add a contact they’re immediately added to all those other web services, too. And thanks to Soocial, an address book solution, E contact info can also synchronize with your email address book in Gmail, Highrise, your OSX address book, or the address book on your phone itself. Barriers To AdoptionE faces one of the typical problems that many web 2.0 startups do – they don’t work for you until a lot of people are using it. Just because you have a profile on E, that doesn’t mean that those you meet do. And unlike a service like Dropcard, there isn’t a way to use E without the other person’s involvement. In addition to the service itself, the developers of E came up with a crazy but interesting idea for a hardware device called the “Connector.” With this device, you can exchange contact info with others just by touching the two connectors together. While gadget junkies and shiny object collectors may find this device appealing, it could easily remain a niche gadget that ends up sitting on the shelf next to your Chumby and Nazbaztag. To cross the adoption barrier, those at E would be smart to sponsor events where everyone gets a Connector at registration. After a few high-profile events, they would have industry movers and shakers on board, and that’s always a good place to start. Sponsoring events may be just what the company is planning, though, since their site mentions that the “Connector will be released at large events in the near future.” Will It Work?At present, the E service is very basic. Twitter integration is the only service of note that works yet. (Soocial looks great, but is in private beta). The profiles themselves are also not as flexible as those with Dropcard are. You can easily add and remove services with Dropcard, but with E, I wasn’t even able to add a second company that represents my second job. The services section of the web site is confusing – it doesn’t allow you to do anything more than customize which services are connected. The actual profile information is entered under “Settings,” so you can’t specify that only personal contacts get your home address, for example. It appears to be all-or-nothing. E still has far to go to become a truly successful digital contact exchange service, but at least they’re trying something different. Because they operate via mobile URL, not an app specific to any one device, they’re better positioned for more universal adoption that a service that designates itself as iPhone-only, for example. The service is in private beta testing now, but you have the opportunity to make an impassioned plea as to why they should invite you on the signup page here. (If you get in, feel free to add me: 17975.)Check out the video below to see E in action:Hello, my name is E from Renato Valdés Olmos on Vimeo. Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Features#Product Reviews#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… sarah perez 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more